[Buddha-l] Article: The Death of the Scientific Buddha

Franz Metcalf franz at mind2mind.net
Fri Nov 2 14:47:41 MDT 2012


You mentioned several established programs studying the brain/meditation/Buddhism/science mashup. In fact Davidson is from UW-Madison and is one of those folks looking into the "wookie stuff" with some actual rigor. In the taped dialogue, he's the one I'll be really listening to. But I agree that we're going to have to wait still more years before enough good studies have been done to give us solid support for conclusions about the origins of altruism, the "god gene," the experience of transcendence, etc. We'll need to continue to be patient, but as brain science--especially imaging--improves, we're going to learn a lot.

You wrote

> Materialists are not so much wrong about a variety of things, as their account is incomplete and reductive.

That's well said. Their problem is not their data, it's confining themselves to methods that can only yield material data and then concluding, for lack of non-material data, that non-materiality doesn't exist. It's my hope that the data we get from better brain imaging (and who knows what else) will help us better address the big question of what could exist that is not material. It could do this by narrowing that gap between "brain" and "mind," between neurophysiological activity and perception/experience. As you say, that is just the sort of evidence good Buddhist scientists (and surely all good Buddhists are scientists) demand.


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